James L. Easton, longtime Little League® supporter and founder of The Easton Foundations, has been named the recipient of the 2022 Peter O’Malley Distinguished Little League Ambassador Award as part of the 28th Little League International Congress celebration.
First presented at the Little League International Congress in 1992, the Peter O’Malley Distinguished Little League Ambassador Award recognizes an individual who has made a contribution to the advancement of the Little League program, both domestically and abroad. Mr. O’Malley, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was the first recipient of this honor in recognition of his long-time commitment and service to Little League International. Mr. Easton was presented the award at his home in Los Angeles by Mr. O’Malley as part of a virtual conversation with Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO, back in May 2022 and was again recognized during the Chairman’s Celebration at the Little League International Complex on June 13, 2022.
“It is my honor to present this award to Jim as a token of our gratitude for his commitment to the program these past five decades,” said Mr. Keener. “Jim’s contributions to our organization, and his dedication and passion for the mission of Little League and all of youth sports, has helped us to provide memorable experiences to children in communities all around the world and teach life lessons through the game of baseball and softball each year.”
Mr. Easton has been a supporter of the Little League program for the past 50 years and has helped lead the sports equipment industry to strengthen its focus on the growth and development of youth sports, specifically baseball and softball. As a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Mr. Easton has also helped coordinate the support and international growth of youth sports, including Little League. Thanks to those efforts, Little League International now offers youth baseball and softball in more than 80 countries around the world and continues to showcase those experiences during its seven Little League World Series events each summer.
For more than 40 years, Easton Baseball/Softball has also been the “Official Team Equipment Supplier” of Little League and each year the organization provides equipment to participants at both the Little League Baseball and Softball World Series tournaments.
While Mr. Easton sold the Easton company in 2006, his support to youth sports and the Little League program continued through the support of The Easton Foundation Over the past decade, Mr. Easton and the Easton Foundation committed the funding to help each of the five U.S. region facilities install brand new scoreboards and in 2018 contributed to allow the installation of three new videoboards to provide an enhanced fan experience at the Little League Baseball® World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Former Peter O’Malley Distinguished Little League Ambassador Award Recipients:
- 1992: Peter O’Malley
- 1995: George H.W. Bush
- 1998: Stan Musial
- 2001: Ed Piszek
- 2004: Tom Ridge
- 2007: Eric Hilton
- 2010: George W. Bush
- 2014: Jin Roy Ryu
To learn more about the Little League International Congress, visit LittleLeague.org/Congress.